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AIDS. 2004 Sep 3;18(13):1805-9.

Serious ophthalmic pathology compromising vision in HCV/HIV co-infected patients treated with peginterferon alpha-2b and ribavirin.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To characterize the ocular changes associated with peginterferon alpha 2b (peg-IFN alpha-2b) and ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C infection in HIV co-infected individuals.

METHODS:

A prospective, open-label trial treating HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infected individuals with peg-IFN alpha-2b and ribavirin at the Warren Grant Magnusson Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Twenty-three patients with a high mean CD4+ T-cell count were treated with peg-IFN alpha-2b and ribavirin and followed for 40 to 88 weeks. Ophthalmologic evaluations including visual acuity, visual field testing, color vision examination and indirect ophthalmoscopy were performed at baseline and every 3 months.

RESULTS:

Eight of the 23 patients (35%) developed ophthalmologic pathology, including cotton wool spots, cataracts, and two patients developed decreased color vision. These two patients regained their color vision, one after cessation of anti-HCV therapy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although retinal pathologies have been reported in patients treated with interferon-alpha, they have not been reported during peg-IFN alpha-2b therapy nor in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. The incidence of serious ocular pathology associated with anti-HCV therapy may be very high and is probably associated with peg-IFN alpha-2b. Increased monitoring of patients treated with peg-IFN alpha-2b for retinal and visual changes is warranted.

PMID:
15316341
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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